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Intermountain Regional Observatory Network (IRON)

Regional boundaries

The two physiographic regions of the Colorado Plateau and the Great Basin with the extensions of shrub steppe that includes Idaho, eastern Oregon and eastern Washington. The Blue Mountains are included in the Intermountain area.


Executive Committee:
The initial Executive Committee represents geo-political entities within the consortium; and insures all-inclusive involvement, checks and balances. The committee will review minutes, documents, web site documents.

IRON Executive Committee Chair:
Jim MacMahon, Utah State University,

IRON Executive Committee members:
Jayne Belnap, USGS, Moab,
Michael W. Collopy, University of Nevada , Reno,
Nora N Devoe, BLM Nevada State Office,
R. Dave Evans, Washington State University,
Laura Huenneke, Northern Arizona University,
David A. Pyke, USGS, Forest & Rangeland Ecosystem Science Center,
Jack B. Waide, Rocky Mountain Research Station,

Organizing committee members:
Michael Auerbach, Desert Research Institute,
R. Alan Black, Washington State University,
Martyn M. Caldwell, Utah State University,
Jeanne Chambers, USDA Forest Service, RMRS,
Neil Cobb, Northern Arizona University,
Todd A. Crowl, Utah State University,
Carla D'Antonio, USDA-ARS, Exotic Invasive Weeds Research Unit,
Jim Ehleringer, University of Utah,
Herbert C. Frost, University of Nevada , Reno, or
Lynn Jackson, BLM, Moab Field Office,
Dale W. Johnson, University of Nevada , Reno,
James Munger, Boise State University,
Mike Pellant, Great Basin Restoration Initiative Coordinator BLM,
William H. Romme, Colorado State University,
Bruce A. Roundy, Brigham Young University,
Stanley D. Smith, University of Nevada , Las Vegas,
Ed Starkey, USGS, Forest & Rangeland Ecosystem Science Center,
David Tarboton, Utah State University,
Mark Vinson,Utah State University,
John J. Warwick, Desert Research Institute,

Organizational Status

Participants in IRON include: Bureau of Land Management, Boise State University, Brigham Young University, Colorado State University, Desert Research Institute, Idaho State University, Northern Arizona University, Oregon State University, University of Idaho, University of Nevada , Las Vegas, University of Nevada , Reno, University of Utah, USDA-Agriculture Research Service, US Environmental Protection Agency, US Forest Service, US Geological Survey, Utah State University, Washington State University

The first organizational meeting to form a NEON-Great Basin and Colorado Plateau consortium of universities and state and government resource agencies was held to: 1) discuss the formation of a consortium; 2) identify all interested parties; 3) define the geographic area to be included; 4) begin to identify science questions and themes; 5) begin to define the organizational structure the group; 6) develop a web site that will serve as an information center for both our consortium as well as national issues and that can be used to solicit comments from the science and management community; and 7) determine future meetings. A meeting report for the 1st IRON meeting is available on the IRON website.

The next meeting (to be held in early July — see website for updates) will focus on developing science themes at both national and regional scales and should include anyone who has any interest. As a starting point, the group identified the following themes:

  • Biodiversity, species composition and ecosystem functioning
  • Land-use change and habitat alteration
  • Ecological Implications of climate change
  • Invasive species
  • Biogeochemical cycling
  • Ecology and evolution of infectious diseases
  • Development of monitoring designs and protocols
  • Future Issues (those that we see on the horizon)
  • Social and Economic Changes (human dimensions)
    • Urbanization
    • Identifying alternative futures
    • Sustainability of agricultural land and ecosystem function
  • Contaminant sources and transport
  • Fire regime changes; Fuel management
  • Water Quality and Quantity
  • Transport and Storage
  • Hydroecology
  • Drought
  • Interpolation and Forecasting
  • Soils and Soil biota

The group is currently working on forming committees that will among other things; coordinate activities and identify regional issues and gaps, identify overarching science themes, define infrastructure needs, perform outreach, build membership, and identify existing facilities.

More Information Available At

The website will be used to solicit input regarding all issues of the IRON consortium as well as being used as a way to register for meetings and to screen ideas.

map of NEON regions view high-resolution version (3865 x 5876, 1.4 MB PDF)

NEON Regions

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The AIBS/IBRCS Project is funded by a grant from the National Science Foundation. All Content (c) AIBS, 2000-2004